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Tears for MH370 as mystery persists on anniversary

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EMOTIONAL families marked the first anniversary of the disappearance of flight MH370 Sunday as a new report said the battery on its black box locator beacon had expired, but shed no new light on the cause of the disaster.

Prime Minister Najib Razak said his nation remained committed to the search for the Malaysia Airlines jet, believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, and was hopeful it would be found.

Next of kin, many of whom have criticised Malaysia’s handling of the disaster, held ceremonies in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing to remember the missing and urge authorities to never abandon the expensive and arduous search.

“The only answer I want is where is the plane, then only will we know,” said Jacquita Gonzales, wife of the flight’s cabin crew supervisor Patrick Gomes.

“The whole world has heard what he (Najib) has said, so they can’t go back on their word.”

A report by an international investigative team released Sunday raised no red flags relating to the crew or the aircraft’s condition to indicate any cause for the disappearance.

But it said the 30-day battery powering the underwater locator beacon on the flight data recorder was due to expire in December 2012.

Although the battery on the plane’s cockpit voice recorder was up-to-date, this could have contributed to the failure to find the plane, said Gerry Soejatman, a Jakarta-based aviation consultant.

“My major worry is that (search vessels) may have gone over the aircraft but not heard the pings because of this,” said Soejatman, who added that the report otherwise largely restated what is already known about MH370.

A year-long hunt in the deep ocean far off Australia’s west coast, where satellite data indicate the Boeing 777 crashed, has yielded nothing yet.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Sunday 3/8/2015 – 11:37 GMT|818 words

ADDS QUOTES, DETAILS

by Dan Martin

Emotional families marked the first anniversary of the disappearance of flight MH370 Sunday as a new report said the battery on its black box locator beacon had expired, but shed no new light on the cause of the disaster.

Prime Minister Najib Razak said his nation remained committed to the search for the Malaysia Airlines jet, believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, and was hopeful it would be found.

Next of kin, many of whom have criticised Malaysia’s handling of the disaster, held ceremonies in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing to remember the missing and urge authorities to never abandon the expensive and arduous search.

“The only answer I want is where is the plane, then only will we know,” said Jacquita Gonzales, wife of the flight’s cabin crew supervisor Patrick Gomes.

“The whole world has heard what he (Najib) has said, so they can’t go back on their word.”

A report by an international investigative team released Sunday raised no red flags relating to the crew or the aircraft’s condition to indicate any cause for the disappearance.

But it said the 30-day battery powering the underwater locator beacon on the flight data recorder was due to expire in December 2012.

Although the battery on the plane’s cockpit voice recorder was up-to-date, this could have contributed to the failure to find the plane, said Gerry Soejatman, a Jakarta-based aviation consultant.

“My major worry is that (search vessels) may have gone over the aircraft but not heard the pings because of this,” said Soejatman, who added that the report otherwise largely restated what is already known about MH370.

A year-long hunt in the deep ocean far off Australia’s west coast, where satellite data indicate the Boeing 777 crashed, has yielded nothing yet.

“Together with our international partners, we have followed the little evidence that exists,” Najib said in a statement. “Malaysia remains committed to the search, and hopeful that MH370 will be found.” 

– ‘A most painful year’ –

The plane inexplicably veered from its Kuala Lumpur-Beijing route on March 8 of last year with 239 passengers and crew aboard.

Relatives and friends of the missing held an emotional public remembrance in Kuala Lumpur that included prayers and live video links with other next of kin around the world.

A temporary wall erected for the occasion contained scrawled messages such as “Never give up hope” and “I miss you so much brother and sister, please come back.”

“My mother was on MH370. It has been a year so far. It has been a most painful year for many of us, a never-ending battle,” said Grace Subathirai. “My mother was my world, everything to me,” she added, her voice breaking.



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